Kelly Vaughn

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Heber

Although it’s possible to camp along Forest Road 300, the heavily traveled Mogollon Rim route that accesses this campground, doing so would be devoid of the amenities found at Black Canyon Rim Campground. This private destination has 21 large sites tucked beneath ponderosa pines. Because sites are so spacious, you won’t feel as though you’re right on top of your neighbor. It also helps that this destination isn’t the most popular in the White Mountains, especially among families, who seem to prefer camping at Fool Hollow Lake and other more developed sites that are a bit closer to larger towns.

That’s not to say Black Canyon Rim isn’t family-friendly. Just minutes from Black Canyon Lake, this is a great spot for campers who like to take to the water for a little relaxation. Fishing and boating are popular, but if you’re into more terrestrial relaxation, wildlife-watching opportunities are many. Deer, squirrels, chipmunks and the occasional elk frequent the area, as do several bird species. Or, if you’re of the I’d-like-a-little-history-with-my-getaway persuasion, cruise FR 300. You’ll find the marker that commemorates the Battle of Big Dry Wash, which took place along the Mogollon Rim in 1882. It was the last Apache-versus-Army battle in Arizona.

Elevation: 7,600 feet
Directions: From Heber, travel 18 miles west on State Route 260 to Forest Road 300 and turn left, following the signs to Black Canyon Lake. Continue on FR 300 for 2.5 miles to Forest Road 86 and turn left. The campground will be on your right.
Information: Springerville Ranger District, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, 928-333-4301 or
Season: May through November
Fee: $14 per night
Reservations: Yes
Amenities: Toilets, Pets, Water